A SENIOR Burnley councillor has blasted opposition to plans to build homes on the site of a community centre in Burnley Wood.

Labour’s Mark Townsend, the council’s deputy leader, said a move by Liberal Democrats to call-in an earlier decision regarding the use of land in Glebe Street was ‘a waste of council time and resources’.

On Thursday the council ruled that the decision to designate a recreation park and community centre in Glebe Steet for housing was legal.

Coun Townsend, also executive member for resources and performance management, said plans for 117 new homes in the neighbourhood were ‘great news’.

He said: “I am delighted that the resources scrutiny committee found no grounds upon which to refer back to the executive their decision to appropriate land for housing development purposes in Burnley Wood.

“The challenge to the decision was shown to be a politically motivated stunt by a group of Lib Dem councillors some of whom had previously voted for the development plans going back to 2007.

“I am particularly annoyed at the waste of council time and resources spent on this.”

The appropriation of the land attracted 584 objections from residents, while the original planning application in November last year prompted hundreds of signatures on a petition calling for the Burnley Wood Youth and Community Group hub to be saved.

Coun Townsend said: “I respect the passionate campaign mounted by the residents to keep the recreation ground on Glebe Street. The recreation ground has served generations of local residents well but it is the future we have to focus on.

“It has been a difficult decision to use the land for housing development but I am convinced that it is in the best interests of Burnley Wood going forward. I look forward to seeing the 117 new homes built and occupied with existing Burnley Wood families as well as new people to the area.”